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Oregon State University
Insect ID Clinic


Honey Bee Diagnostic Services

Small Hive Beetle

Causative Agent: Aethina tumida (Coleoptera, Nitidulidae)

Range: S. Africa, & since 1998 United States (established in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Minnesota)

Life cycle:

  • Adults may live up to 6 months.
  • Eggs are laid in cracks near the comb and hatch in 2-3 days.
  • Larvae feed on pollen, honey and damage the combs. Feeding by the larvae discolors the honey and often leads to the honey fermenting and pouring out of the comb. This makes the hive and extraction process very messy.
  • Larvae require 10-11 days to complete larval development, and then leave the hive to pupate in the soil.
  • High small hive beetle populations, even in strong colonies, can lead to absconding or collapse .
  • In warm climates ( Florida & Georgia ) there may be 4-5 generations per year.


  • The small hive beetle has been detected in Oregon in the recent past, but it is believed that it was eradicated, and is currently not known to occur. If you believe you have a small hive beetle in one or more of your hives please contact the Oregon Department of Agriculture Commodity Inspection Division (503-986-4620)


A more recent publication can be found here:

Other Useful Sites:

References used:

Root, A. I. (1990) The ABC & XYZ of bee culture 40 th ed. A.I Root Co. Medina, OH.





Septermber 9, 2016